Spring Garden Planting



  • It warmed up. It's 25 today.

    Oh wait... it's also doing this:

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  • We had a couple of days in the 80's last week here in NC. Last night we had freezing rain and snow flurries. The mid-south has some of the craziest late fall/winter/early spring weather.



  • Finished planting today. Forecast for the weekend is a chance of rain and another big swing in temperature. The plants were dormant for the last few days mainly because of zero sunshine. It stayed heavily overcast but we did get some moisture so I gave the sprinklers a rest. I will get some pictures tomorrow.



  • It's not been quite a month since my first planting with exception of the wind and one cold snap it's looking pretty normal. On the third of this month I planted the rest of the sweet corn and it's been up a couple of days. I planted Contender beans the next day and they are just now breaking the crust so in a couple of days they will be up and visible. Those tomatoes were about five inches tall and now they are out of their cages. Don't take long when the weather is right. I have a few poblano peppers already on the plants but everything else is just now blooming. They won't really produce until it gets hotter. Yesterday I put in six rows of black eye peas, two thirty foot runs of cucumbers, two rows of okra, a row of sugar baby watermelons and a couple of short rows of radishes. That's enough. I put about three miles on my little push along planter and the motor on it's wore out.
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  • These pics remind me of the garden I grew up with on the farm near Fordyce. Mom canned everything from beef to peaches and all the vegetables in between. The basement wall was 30 ft long by 8 ft high with everything we needed to survive. 8 ft long freezer full of beef and pork. Those were the good old days. Wayne



  • @rimfire That kind of "world smarts" seems to be lost among the spoiled masses of today.

    Why put all that time and money into long term food, when you can buy a new boat/camper/motorcycle?!?!?



  • what is that plastic supposed to keep out?



  • @martino1 Frost, is my guess... and wind.



  • Blizzard rolled in a couple hours ago.

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  • @martino1
    It's mostly a windbreak. If we get frost the party is over. I usually cut the plastic off when they get established and to keep the fungus down in this tropical environment here on the gulf. It's been blowing the hair off a dogs back today and more so inshore from here. We're guilty of supplying the moisture needed to fire up the storms along the boundary of the fronts that come in the spring. It gets pretty hairy down here in a spring norther, no snow but straight line winds and waterspouts can happen. People going out in boats not watching the weather usually ends in a disaster this time of year. Matagorda Bay where I grew up gets rougher than hell in a wind, especially the south side where it empties in the gulf when a norther blows in. I think most of the bad weather is going to be east of us tonight and I could use a little rain but none of that frozen stuff, sure noisy on a tin roof.



  • Everything is growing now that we have some heat. The strong south east wind is back and should have some rain at the end of the week, I just hope nothing in excess. The row crop farmers down here already have corn tossling and the milo isn't too far behind, probably less than sixty days and they will be harvesting. I've already got jalapeno's and no tomatoes ready to make salsa. Usually it's the other way around. Last picture is the cucumber run and the okra and watermelon patch. I've got some radishes in the back end also, don't really like them.
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  • Looks good.

    Cooler temperature and shorter growing seasons may be the future trend.

    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=233414



  • @hypo
    Back in my early shrimping days we experienced some really warm springs. I guess it was around 1983 we had gulf brown shrimp in our estuaries in March that year and a couple of years following. The salinity levels were the same as the Gulf of Mexico and the shallow water mimicked the temperatures needed for rapid growth of brown shrimp. Of course there was plenty of plankton and grass needed for food and one key ingredient was missing, pollution. Our bays were in pretty damn good shape but things changed rapidly. A very large refinery was built at the headwaters of one of our largest estuaries and things just snowballed. There was finger pointing and protests all over the state. Hell, even one lady shrimper tied herself to an oil well and went on a hunger strike. Made the national news. Funny thing is when we were having these phenomenal shrimp landings we had lots of boats and they were catching lots of shrimp and it was getting better. Then poof, it all came to an end. Got rid of the boats got new devices to save by catch and guess what? It's gotten worse. This is just my opinion and I don't have any facts to prove it. One old shrimper told me when we were beating the doors down at the capitol we were wasting our time. It will be self regulating because when the catch gets small the fleet gets small. He was so right and didn't need a team of biologists to prove it. I don't have a horse in that race anymore but I still have a connection emotionally. Back to the brown shrimp. Usually a native brownie as we called them gets to about a 40-50 count, that's between 40 and 50 to a pound with heads on. In these warm years I caught brownies that reached 6-8 and 9-12 to a pound which was unheard of in the bays, especially the estuary I was permitted to fish in. The fall seasons were record setting as well catching native white shrimp or non grooved shrimp. I have pictures from some of the catches I made and it still excites me but I'm done. Yes we have a different weather trend and maybe some things will adapt. We need to adapt that's for sure. It seems like to me we are a month behind like this should be April not May. The farmers are planting in January down here, and have been making crops so they are adapting. If you go just a little north and east of here it's still pretty cool. Heck I put on a long sleeve shirt yesterday evening here. Go figure.



  • @bigfoot said in Spring Garden Planting:

    @hypo
    Back in my early shrimping days we experienced some really warm springs. I guess it was around 1983 we had gulf brown shrimp in our estuaries in March that year and a couple of years following. The salinity levels were the same as the Gulf of Mexico and the shallow water mimicked the temperatures needed for rapid growth of brown shrimp. Of course there was plenty of plankton and grass needed for food and one key ingredient was missing, pollution. Our bays were in pretty damn good shape but things changed rapidly. A very large refinery was built at the headwaters of one of our largest estuaries and things just snowballed. There was finger pointing and protests all over the state. Hell, even one lady shrimper tied herself to an oil well and went on a hunger strike. Made the national news. Funny thing is when we were having these phenomenal shrimp landings we had lots of boats and they were catching lots of shrimp and it was getting better. Then poof, it all came to an end. Got rid of the boats got new devices to save by catch and guess what? It's gotten worse. This is just my opinion and I don't have any facts to prove it. One old shrimper told me when we were beating the doors down at the capitol we were wasting our time. It will be self regulating because when the catch gets small the fleet gets small. He was so right and didn't need a team of biologists to prove it. I don't have a horse in that race anymore but I still have a connection emotionally. Back to the brown shrimp. Usually a native brownie as we called them gets to about a 40-50 count, that's between 40 and 50 to a pound with heads on. In these warm years I caught brownies that reached 6-8 and 9-12 to a pound which was unheard of in the bays, especially the estuary I was permitted to fish in. The fall seasons were record setting as well catching native white shrimp or non grooved shrimp. I have pictures from some of the catches I made and it still excites me but I'm done. Yes we have a different weather trend and maybe some things will adapt. We need to adapt that's for sure. It seems like to me we are a month behind like this should be April not May. The farmers are planting in January down here, and have been making crops so they are adapting. If you go just a little north and east of here it's still pretty cool. Heck I put on a long sleeve shirt yesterday evening here. Go figure.

    What are your thoughts about eating seafood from the Gulf after the Deep Water Horizon Cleanup? I'm referring to the chemicals they used to dissolve the huge amount of crude that spilled out into the Gulf..



  • @martino1
    The dispersing agents might have been used too hastily. They had a huge ship enroute to reclaim the oil and had a bunch of skimmers doing their best but time was a huge factor. That was a lot of oil let go. I guess BP and other entities were worried about it getting into the marshes and beaches and they just did it. I have a friend in the Gulf shrimping business who's son works for The National Marine Fisheries that was on a couple the observer boats at the time of the spill. They took numerous samples of shrimp and water from areas around the spill and tested them. Keith told me the shrimp actually had traces of crude in them but passed it out, not sure if he really knew what went on in the lab because he is more of an equipment technician. They kept a big area closed to shrimping because of the threat and I don't know or have heard of any follow up results. It's being monitored I do know that. As far as I'm concerned BP still ain't off the hook, others may think so. On a side note Jason Anderson, a local here was killed on that rig. His body never recovered. We know his family well. As far as eating seafood from the Gulf, I can't see a problem. there has been tons and tons caught since then and believe me if somebody gets sick the media will catch it. I would be more leery of a pond shrimp from China than any wild caught or as far as that goes farm raised domestic shrimp or fish. Keyword domestic.



  • Starting to pick a few vegetables now. We canned six quarts of peppers and I picked radishes this morning. Not sure what to do with those things. They say you can fry them. We picked some yellow squash also and my wife made a casserole for church luncheon and I spotted a few zucchini that are almost ready. Beans are a couple of days out and we have a dozen or so tomatoes on the window sill getting ripe now. Five of the tomato plants bit the dust, disease or something. These came from a different nursery so there's no telling what. Got some blossom rot so I am losing about a fourth of the other tomatoes, wish I didn't have that to deal with. corn really needs rain, my well water isn't cutting it. Some farmers towards Corpus Christi and west already are shredding their corn down. Guess they had drought insurance. Some fields around here aren't far from the same fate. Those with cotton that is established are in good shape. They say the wider the cracks the more trips to the gin. Dry land farming can be tough, my family did it for many years.
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  • @bigfoot Send me the radishes. I will pick them straight out of the ground and eat them raw. Great sliced thin in a spinach/greens salad with a balsamic or Caeser-style dressing.



  • @bigfoot
    Radishes cooked right can taste similar to potatoes. They’re frequently used in low carb lifestyles as a potato substitute. I think they poach & fry them. Google radish faux potatoes, you’ll get lots of recipes.



  • @flyinphill
    Ha, not sure they're worth the freight. These are some hot ones. Got some white ones and purple ones thrown in there. All the seeds came out of one bulk container where I get all my seeds, not supposed to be a mix. Guess some of them didn't get a lot of sun. We used to make some kind of salad with broccoli and radishes with a mayonnaise dressing of some kind. Like you I usually just pull them and eat them fresh. Get a little grit too.



  • @gash
    I'm going to investigate the frying technique. Some of these are pretty big.
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  • Last Monday we had one of our famous tropical downpours that I had been dreading. I had watered for two solid days beforehand so it was plenty wet. In a couple of hours we had close to five inches and Wednesday we got hit again plus some wind for another inch and a half to two inches. My soil has high clay content and doesn't percolate too well so basically water stands and then when the sun pops out plants go through water wilt, especially tomatoes. They were doing fine until the second rain but couldn't take any more. Lost three more plants and my prized cherry tomato plant fell to the ground. Green beans went under water also so they're done. Still been getting some goodies just not as good as it could have been. Sweet corn is not doing good either, too dang much grass and the growth cycle is all messed up. It's all in different stages of development so I don't look for much, going to let nature take its course. Still have about two more weeks of picking then I will start cleaning it up. Depends on the weather. A few pictures of last weeks harvest and yesterday's.
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  • Mmmm, green tomatoes. Ever make fried green tomatoes? I hadn't ever tried them until a few years back....OH MY they're delicious! Soak in buttermilk, dip in flour, fry, top with cajun spice and Frank's hot sauce.



  • @gash
    Yep, fried them in beer batter. We had some friends come by to get some produce and they took a few green ones to fry. I like zucchini squash cut like french fries and battered then deep fried. Yellow squash is good fried in plain old cornmeal or fish fry mix. Blooming onion mix is pretty good for frying veggies also. I fry shrimp sometimes like you said, soak in buttermilk and roll in seasoned flour or cracker meal. I used to could eat my weight in fried shrimp sure can tell by my figure. Lucky I had a never ending supply of them. I took this picture over thirty years ago on my first shrimp boat. Over 350 pounds of shrimp in that pile. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have quit early that day.
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  • The last hurrah for my tomatoes and squash a couple of weeks ago. I got some ugly cucumbers this year so all the pickles my wife has made have been of the sliced variety. Did some icebox hot and sour's, some bread and butter's and some dill slices. Just made four pints of pickled okra and some Rotel style canned tomatoes, six pints of them. The house has a heck of an aroma of cider vinegar and serrano peppers right now. The sweet corn was a bust this year. Too much grass and not enough fertilizer and rain. I have some still out there but by the time its ready to pull the chinch bugs will have destroyed it. Planted too late and they found the first corn with a vengeance. Only pulled about a five gallon bucket full of ears and mowed the first crop down a week ago. The okra just started and that was my second picking this morning and my one row of black eyed peas that made it. Going to have to ration the peas out pretty thin this year. Rain is in the forecast for the weekend and if I was a farmer down here I'm not so sure I want any right now. Might be good for hay but most of the milo is just a week or so away from harvest and the corn is almost ready. Not sure about the cotton, lots of it is already blooming.
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  • Nice harvest, enjoy it!!



  • @toni
    Thanks, turned out OK. Got some friends and neighbors fixed up too.


 

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